Seconds out round one - Mullins and Elliott go at it from the bell
Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) | 5yo+ | 2m6f | RTE2/ATR
The first of many clashes this weekend between the forces of Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins will have the trainers' title leader's Dortmund Park take on Fabulous Saga and Carter McKay, representing the defending champion.
Seven go to post for the opening race on the card and Dortmund Park will be bidding for a hat-trick after trouncing the Mullins-trained Burrows Saint by 16 lengths at Thurles two weeks ago.
Elliott said on Friday: "Dortmund Park has been doing everything right and is an improving horse. We could probably have done with another week or ten days with him but he seems in very good form."
Fabulous Saga is enjoying a successful campaign, winning four times, and he is also on a hat-trick following victories over 3m at Cork and Limerick.
Mullins said: "Fabulous Saga has done little wrong and is in good form. An extra couple of furlongs would suit better and we'd like to see the ground getting a bit softer rather than drier for him.
"As far as ground conditions are concerned, it's the same story with Carter McKay, who is less experienced. The step up in trip should suit him and he ran a good race last time when chasing home Getabird and Mengli Khan in the Moscow Flyer over two miles at Punchestown."
Dicey O'Reilly, winner of a 2m4f maiden over the course in December, represents Henry de Bromhead, who said: "He came out of his Christmas win well and, while this is a Grade 1, he seems in good form."
Jessica Harrington said of Jetz: "This is not as strong a Grade 1 as I was expecting. He seems to be improving and one thing that would suit him is a very strong gallop, which I think he should get. We’re hoping for a nice run."
Read exclusive previews daily on racingpost.com